Three years ago, I wrote an article detailing my 6 Exciting Desserts for 2003. Included on that list was the panna cotta at Caffe Maestro. I followed up that article with my 10 Best Desserts in Manila for 2005.
I was recently in Caffe Maestro again, and again I ordered what may just be two of my most favorite desserts.
This is the panna cotta (P195) looking every bit like the goddess that it is. Once I tried this, I forgot about all the other panna cotta wannabes. Essentially cream (panna) and sugar mixed together, just a dash of gelatin is used to forge this divine alliance. Flavoring is unnecessary if the best quality cream is used. No cooking required, just chilling. I have introduced several people to this dessert, ranging from family members to good friends. All were rendered speechless, food comas personified.
I love how the custard trembles with the slightest nudge from my spoon. Slowly, slowly, the spoon eases down, a motion similar to caressing a lover. I take along some of the truffled honey shimmering like gold, which provides a delicate sweetness, and crushed walnuts which provide crunch. This flan jiggles like a voluptuous womanâ€™s thigh; it melts from the warmth of my tongue and goes down easy like liquid love.
Zabaione (za-ba-YOH-neh), also zabaglione is one of the most luxurious desserts Iâ€™ve ever eaten. Egg yolks, Marsala wine, and sugar are whisked over a double boiler until foamy and thick. In the mouth, itâ€™s like eating a billion bubbles. If Iâ€™m feeling playful, I let a spoonful just sit in my mouth, and the bubbles pop quickly, slowly. Once a spoonful goes down, the heat from the wine comes up, igniting a lazy simmer at the back of my throat.
At Caffe Maestro, zabaione is served with two ladyfingers for dipping. In France, zabaione is called sabayon, and itâ€™s poured over cake, pastry, and even fish.
THIS RESTAURANT IS NOW CLOSED.
1780 Nicanor Garcia St. (formerly Reposo),
Santiago Village, Makati